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Every year since 1987, 1st December has been known as World Aids Day.  This year, Men’s Sexual Health is launching our new campaign; ‘Know Your Status’. With a month to go until the big day, we are dedicating the month of November to encouraging everyone to book an appointment at the local GU clinic to check their HIV status. The most important reason for this campaign is that an estimated 1/3 of people living with HIV in the UK are unaware of their infection - that’s around 22,000 people!

With this new campaign we ask people to make the promise to:

Know your HIV status

Never assume anyone else’s status and

Keep informed about all sexually transmitted infections (STIs)


Know Your Status.
We encourage you to get tested and find out if you are HIV positive (HIV+ve) or HIV negative (HIV-ve), especially if you have ever put yourself at risk and never been tested before. Don’t live in doubt.  Once certain of your status, the knock on effects are multiple.  If you test positive you’ll know now to protect those who you are sexually active with by keeping sex safe.  This can reduce new cases of HIV.  If you know you are virus free, you can commit to staying that way, by using condoms.   Testing and knowing your status now, when you don’t even necessarily feel ill, will also reduce late diagnosis HIV.  Effective medications are available, and early treatment leads to improved outcomes for you and decreased transmission to others.  People who are diagnosed and treated early have better long-term health outcomes and minimize their risk of spreading the infection to others. 


Never Assume Anyone Else’s Status.

With 1/3 of the HIV+ve population unaware of their status, don’t ever assume that the person you are having sex with is free from the virus!  If someone you're going to have sex with doesn't mention HIV, it doesn't necessarily mean that he has the same HIV status as you. It just means he's chosen not to talk about it. There is also an assumption and a stereotype that you can spot a person who has HIV, by the way they look, how healthy or sick they appear, but this is a very bad idea.  In reality you can’t actually tell.


Keep Informed on all Sexually Transmitted Infections.

It is not just HIV that people need to be aware of; there are lots of other sexually transmitted infections, many of which have no signs or symptoms. So when you go to get screened for HIV, get a full MOT and request to be checked for all STIs. When you are infected with an STI it makes it more likely for you to acquire a second infection, even HIV. If your immune system is weakened by one STI, another can more easily ‘piggy back’ on. The best protection from STIs during sex is to wear a condom.

We will be touring Swindon with our campaign during November and on World Aids Day.  Check out the diary section on the calendar to see where we will be. We have also launched a brand new Safe Sex pack; look out for these free packs in venues across Swindon from November.

For more information on a range of STI’s and HIV please check out our health page
If you would like to speak to a member of our staff about any of the issues raised please call on 01793 250951/07867872552 or  email

If you would like to book an HIV test at Swindon GU clinic please call the SWISH team on 01793 604038

Remember if you live in Swindon you can order FREE condoms, lube and range of sexual health leaflets from our website